Fortnite – Not quite building bridges
by – James Fenn
I was a No Skin, a Rust Lord and a Sgt. Green Clover but, after many hours and 2 battle pass purchases, I realised I was never going to be a builder. Fortnite is a world-wide phenomenon; a battle royale game where each round begins with 100 people jumping from a flying party bus to a number of marked areas on an island map. The players then rummage through gold chests, search houses and open random
drops for loot which can range from a variety of guns and armour to medical supplies and accessories.
The game’s premise is simple; the winner is the last person left alive. It is a blueprint which has been used for many similar games taking the gaming industry by storm recently such as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and H1Z1. It’s a divisive genre but, for good or bad, isn’t going away anytime soon.
Whilst all sharing the same end goal, each of these games possesses at least one unique feature and in Fortnite it is the ability to build structures with materials gathered along the way. Wood, stone and metal forts litter the battlefield by the end of a round. These can be built for protection or to gain a height advantage over your opponent for an easier kill.
“I understand that reaction to this may simply boil down to git gud”
It is a huge feature of the game and the only way to consistently win rounds is to become highly proficient at building which, for me, is a huge turn off. I understand that the reaction to this may boil down to ‘git gud’. However, spending 20 minutes running around gathering great gear and maybe sneaking a kill or two just to be gunned down by someone who can build a wooden death house in the blink of an eye is frustrating. It happens over and over again with the skill gap increasing with each season.
I’ve tried to learn the building mechanics to make myself more competitive, especially in the end game, but my aggressive tendencies usually get the better of me and I eventually go all-out attack, falling to defeat in a blaze of shame and regret. Attempting this with a hunting rifle is especially ill-advised. The building mechanic is a feature I just don’t and, probably never will, get on with which is disappointing as I really wanted to like Fortnite.
The gun varieties, map changes and overall art style are positive but unfortunately don’t make up for the unyielding demand on building
increasingly tactical structures. As a skill I do respect those who can build fortresses in seconds but it’s boring, right? Perhaps I simply arrived late to the party, which in the gaming world is usually around 15 minutes after it’s released. Should that mean, though, that I’ll never get to the point where I’m good enough to enjoy it?
“I eventually go all-out attack, ending in a blaze of shame and regret”
The first time I made the final two of a round and found myself on the cusp of that sweet victory royale, I felt the adrenaline kick in. My mouth dried and I started to sweat. At this point I thought I had fallen victim to Fortnite’s addictive grip but it was just an anomaly in a succession of unfulfilling failed attempts.
I’m positive that the genre is here to stay and hope that eventually a game will come along that really hooks me. I won’t say that Fortnite is bad game, it wouldn’t have grown to such huge levels of popularity if it were. However, the fact that becoming a master builder is mandatory to become successful in a shooting game puts me off. I would recommend trying it, primarily because it’s free and easy to pick up. However if you want to enjoy it long term, I advise you to learn how to build and, really, just git gud.